If I said, “Let’s go catch a show and eat some dogs”, you would understand what I was saying. A thousand years from now, someone might read that and think, How does one “catch a show”, and oh-my-word they ate a dog!!!
Matthew 6:22-23 says, The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good,your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
The same principle applies to this scripture. We take Matthew 6 and apply it to being careful what we watch, or read, or view on the internet. And although be careful little eyes what you see is a great life lesson, it is not what this scripture is talking about.
This verse uses Hebrew idioms everyone knew in Jesus’ day.
If someone had a good eye it meant they were generous.
Having a bad eye meant someone was selfish.
It says when a person is generous their whole body is filled with light. In Hebrew, the whole body means your whole person. Not just your physical body, it’s your spirit – who you are.
When you are generous, your spirit lives in the light. Your spirit is seen, exposed. It is good, and Godly.
When a person has a bad eye, they are selfish. As a result, their spirit is full of darkness. They are not being Godly because they are not thinking of others.
You could paraphrase the first verse like this: How you give to others shows who you are. If you are generous, you are Godly. If you are selfish, you are not Godly.
Let’s do the same thing with the next verse.
It says, If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness. Using what we have learned about this verse, it could be paraphrased as…
If the good you do comes out of a selfish spirit, then your selfishness is worse than you realize.
We need to be sure the good we do is not for our benefit. We should never give out of manipulation or a desire for power. That is not true generosity. It is selfishness.
And selfish generosity isn’t generosity at all.
To read more about this verse, see http://www.studylight.org/ls/ds/index.cgi?a=505